LDS Church says legal analysis ‘raises grave concerns’ about medical marijuana ballot initiative in Utah

SALT LAKE CITY -- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints commissioned a legal analysis of the medical marijuana ballot initiative in Utah and says the results "raise grave concerns" about the initiative.

"The proposed Utah Medical Marijuana Initiative is a matter of great controversy in this state," the LDS Church stated. "The negative effects and consequences of marijuana use on individuals, families, and society at large are well-known. There are also those who claim that it has medicinal benefits for those in some circumstances."

The LDS Church says it asked a Salt Lake City legal firm to analyze the proposed initiative to show what it "would actually do, if adopted."

"That memorandum raises grave concerns about this initiative and the serious adverse consequences that could follow if it were adopted," the LDS Church states. "We invite all to read the attached memorandum and to make their own judgment."

The full memorandum is embedded at the bottom of this story.

The Utah Patients Coalition issued a statement in response Friday:

“We anticipate a healthy debate in the public square about the merits of the Utah Medical Cannabis Act leading up to November’s vote,” said DJ Schanz, director of the Utah Patients Coalition. “We respect the opinions of those who disagree and look forward to rebutting their fear-based arguments in the months ahead.”

“In the mean time, we agree with Governor Herbert that this is an important debate to be had, and echo Lieutenant Governor Cox’s caution not to sign any signature removal forms from people knocking on doors.”

“Current law has ‘serious adverse consequences’ for thousands of sick patients who are either illegally using cannabis to improve their health, or those who want to but suffer to obey the law. Our tightly controlled proposal—one of the most conservative in the country—preserves the doctor-patient relationship and ensures that those who need this God-given plant for medicinal purposes can use it without fear of criminal punishment.”

See below for the legal analysis commissioned by the LDS Church:

Legal Analysis of Utah Medical Marijuana Initiative commissioned by the LDS Church by kstumarkgreen on Scribd